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Consumers (10-11-2010)

More transparent and comparable bank fees for EU consumers

On 8 November 2010, the Commission met the banking industry and consumer advocates to launch a self-regulatory initiative for banks to ensure that bank fees are more transparent and comparable for consumers.

Consumers should be able to test the results in early 2012 when the practical solutions – to be identified by the industry in mid-2011 – are to be in place.

A study on bank fees of September 2009 showed that opaque bank fees make it difficult for consumers to compare offers. It also found market fragmentation, excessive prices paid by consumers and low customer mobility.

Dialogue with the banking industry on improving the situation began at the European Consumer Summit in March 2010 . The industry has responded to the Commission's invitation to deliver a practical solution.

The initiative addresses 3 problems:

(1) Complex bank fee terminology;

(2) Difficulty in comparing bank fees;

(3) Lack of basic consumer information on bank fees.

It is one of 50 proposals re-launching the Single Market as specified in the Single Market Act.